Please click the links on the right for more information about each board member.
Ed Inal – Founding Member – Chairman
Ed Inal is Western Digital’s Sr. Director of Global Customer Service and Technical
support where he is responsible for Global Customer Service, including all Web-based
service initiatives and technology implementations. During his 24 tenure with Western
Digital, he has served in various roles in the Engineering, Marketing, Sales & Account
Management and Reverse Logistics departments.
Ed is actively involved in the Orange County community, past President of the Board
of Directors of the Child Abuse Prevention Center, currently serving as a Board
Member with the CAPC. He is also involved with various fund raising activities benefiting
various causes in Orange County. He is also a member of the Professional Services
Organization of the OC Sheriff’s department in a volunteer capacity.
Born and raised in Turkey, he received a computer science degree from Bosphorous
University in Istanbul. Ed moved to the United States in 1977 where he continued
his studies at California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, earning a Bachelor
of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Ed and his wife Laura, and two children Nicole and Spencer, reside in Laguna Niguel.
Steve Brown – Founding Member – Vice Chairman
Steve is an Executive Recruiter serving start-up and high growth companies in the
information technology industry for 12 years. He works extensively with the venture
capital community to help build management teams at their portfolio companies. Steve
recruits difference makers into positions from Sr. Vice President through senior
As a Search Professional his background compliments not only his clients from the
point of Human Capital but highly effective in a business development role. His
understanding of team building dynamics have created some of the more successful
Engineering and Engineering Management Teams in Southern California. This intuitive
skill in culture matching for his portfolio companies has lent itself well to the
development of ACCESS. His personal philosophies are shared by the ACCESS Team.
Steve has been involved with Multiple Charities such as Child Abuse Prevention Center,
The Joyful Child Foundation and America Works. He believes strongly in bringing
together difference makers toward a common goal of community awareness and communication
Dipak Shah – Founding Member – Chairman Emeritus
Dipak is a Founder, CEO of Reliant Solutions, Inc a continuous risk management company
for auditors. Prior to Reliant, Dipak was a Managing Director of the Technology
Group of Investment banking firm Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. Responsibilities encompassed
growing the System Area Network (SAN) and Semiconductor Investment Banking Group.
Dipak headed up investment opportunities in two Investment Funds, brought in client
investment into both funds and managed the direction of one fund as a committee
member. With his expertise and vision he started and grew a Specialty Semiconductor
Group, including research and banking arms. As the Senior Technology Investment
Banker, Dipak implemented all strategic planning for SAN and Semiconductor practices,
including, all facets of investment banking: Public transactions, Private Equity
and Mergers & Acquisition transactions. Completed transactions raising $ 1.5B. Dipak
was also the lead banker in terms of fee generation for the entire Morgan Keegan
investment banking group. Dipak's success included developing Venture Capital contacts,
institutional accounts for private equity deals and jointly working with strategic
investors such as EMC, Dell, Sun, Cisco, LSI Logic.
Prior to Morgan Keegan, Dipak was senior sales executive for LSI Logic (a semiconductor
company focused on Storage, communications and consumers sector focused company),
where he grew territory from $0 to $30 million in sales in just two years.
Dipak serves on the board of DeskSite.com and Access Executive Network and serves
as an advisor to multiple start-ups in Orange County.
Dipak received his MBA specializing in Finance from UC Irvine, CA as well as undergraduate
and graduate Electrical engineering degrees from Wichita State University, Wichita,
Ted Hsieh – Chair, Operations
Ted is currently Chief Operations Officer for DeskSite Inc, a media company that
delivers video entertainment to the consumer desktop. He is responsible for the
overall management of the company's daily operations including engineering, content
acquisition, consumer adoption, ad sales, and product support.
Ted has been in the high tech industry for more than 20 years and offers a combination
of experience in engineering, business operations, program management, and sales.
As the Sr. Director of WW Operations and Program Management for LSI Logic's Worldwide
Customer Engineering organization, Ted's organization was responsible for managing
LSI's customer design activities and professional services that generated more than
$500M annually in business for the company. Additional responsibilities included
managing design center engineering and program management resources, championing
business system and engineering processes, and organizational development and leadership
Having managed LSI Logic's North American Design Centers, Ted is also a sales and
engineering process expert who is responsible for LSI Logic's implementation of
the SAP Project Systems module, a project portfolio management tool that will provide
a real time status on any active project worldwide.
Passionate about leadership and employee development, Ted has been a driving force
at LSI in establishing training programs to raise the quality of its personnel and
its organizations. One of these programs was a successful engineering rotation program
that has been the model for other rotation programs at the company.
Ted has also been involved in various community, academic and church organizations,
having served as the Chair for the Metamorphosis Leadership and Management Conferences,
was a member of the USC Marshall School of Business Admissions Committee, and lead
the Cornerstone Fellowship Leadership team, serving as an Elder and Trustee for
the Formosan Presbyterian Church of Orange County. Outside of LSI, Ted has provided
consulting services to various businesses and non-profit organizations.
Soheil Raissi is a senior technology executive with over 20 years of experience
in software development and information technology. He is currently the founder
and CEO of MAPTICS, a high tech professional services firm that provides software
development and IT services as well as management consulting services.
Prior to founding MAPTICS, Soheil was the Vice President of Products and Services
at Raining Data (formerly Pick Systems) where he lead the global operations for
all their product lines including three Pick databases and a series of rapid application
development tools. He was also responsible for creation of one of the first native
XML database server products.
Before joining Raining Data, Soheil was the Chief Technology Officer of Equative,
an on-line resource management software vendor. He was also Vice President of Technical
Services at ZLand, an on-line software company and one of the pioneers of SaaS model.
In the 1990's, he founded Information Technology Group, a software vendor in the
records and information management industry. He grew the company to one of the major
providers of records tracking and retention scheduling software in the market. The
ITG's products were used by large companies as well government entities and municipalities.
Soheil held senior management positions with other software companies in the Orange
County area including CAIR Systems, AMMS, and Unicom Systems.
Soheil serves on the advisory board of several technology companies and is an active
member of Access Executive Network. His prior affiliations include Advisory Committee
Member of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and board member of the Orange County
chapter of ARMA International.
Beverly J. Lages
Beverly is the president of Lages & Associates, a high tech public relations
firm. Inspired by the spirit of innovation, she founded Lages & Associates in 1988
and has built the agency upon a foundation of solid marketing principles that involve
a deep understanding of the market environment and technology at hand. Her expertise
in marketing communications program development, strategic product and corporate
public relations and positioning is grounded in practical experience in marketing
high-tech products and services for over 20 years.
When launching a communications program, Beverly leads the team to identify and
understand pacing issues, customer values and competitive offerings. Throughout
the partnership with clients, she plays an active role, guiding and monitoring program
activity and directly counseling clients. She leads a variety of workshops including
media training and positioning & message segmentation.
Her career was fueled by a passion for marketing and she landed her first communications
position at Tandem Computers and then moved on to join several start-up companies
spanning from workstations to PC software to development tools. She has also been
an active participant in the tech community serving on executive committees for
associations including AeA and OCTANe.
Beverly enjoys collaborating with her teammates and clients to plot out the next
big launch or develop strategic marketing and PR initiatives. She firmly believes
that the greatest value of PR is shaping public opinion and creating brand equity.
Ashu Varma, MBA - Partner, Ashu Varma Associates
Ashu Varma is a founder and partner at Ashu Varma Associates - an executive search
firm specializing in critical executive searches in Marketing, Product Management
& Development, Technology, Operations, Finance, Business Development, Ad sales and
Professional services for high tech startups and etablished companies in the Enterprise
software, Web 2.0, Digital Hollywood and mobile space. Ashu brings over 12 years
of Marketing & Communications experience in the IT industry, both in the United
States as well as India and 5+ years of recruiting experience at BridgeGate Inc.
At BridgeGate, Ashu led the Marketing practice specializing in critical executive
searches in Marketing, Product Management & Marketing, Business Development and
Prior to joining BridgeGate, Ashu was Director of Field Marketing at eFORCE, successfully
generating new business through Channels development. Ashu was involved with evolving
Business Development plans for eFORCE with both sales and Alliances teams. Prior
to that she served Nexgenix as their Western Region Manager for Organization Development
& Recruitment, successfully building technology, sales and marketing business units.
She hired sales and marketing staff as well as strategic hires at the Director and
VP level. Earlier in her tenure at Nexgenix, she was the Marketing & Communications
Manager responsible for successfully setting-up the entire department. She was responsible
for handling all external communications and was the single point of contact for
the media and press representatives. She also fulfilled a Business Development role,
creating new strategic partnerships and relationships thus seeking new business
Ashu worked with Fujitsu-ICIM, India (5th largest IT company in India)
and Hinditron Informatics Ltd, as Senior Marketing & Communications Executive, responsible
for evolving and implementing plans with respect to Marketing & Product promotions
and advertising schedules for all divisions. She was also involved in educating
well-known consultants & influencers about the products and services of the company
and managing the Distributor and Dealer network.
After her MBA, she started her career on the field, or as is said in the trenches,
in a Sales position with a fast-growing Software Applications company MASTEK Ltd,
as Sales person of the quarter for two consecutive quarters. She was responsible
for handling Sales & Pre-sale support related activities for products of COMSHARE
Ltd, evaluating Customer needs & developing prototype solutions around their DSS
& EIS information needs.
She has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Bombay. Ashu is bi-lingual and
fluent in both English & four Indian languages.
Tom Murray is a co-founder and CEO of Ethix Corporation; an executive management
consulting firm specializing in risk avoidance and operational governance. He brings
over sixteen years’ experience in security engineering, systems architecture, application
development, and enterprise support to this role. He possesses excellent knowledge
and skills from years of industry experience related to strategy, compliance and
regulatory; which allows him to function as a trusted advisor and able to address
challenges for any organization.
Tom has been responsible for conducting IT assessments, with a primary focus on
all areas of compliance including Sarbanes-Oxley. Other areas of support have included;
IT risk assessments, Internal Auditor functions and IT process improvement, depending
on the needs of the client. His expertise in the areas of Information Security and
best practice approaches including; compliance, brand fraud and identity theft has
proven to be a great asset.
Outside of his professional endeavors; he truly believes in relationship building
and giving back to the community. He has been involved with helping others since
the age of 14 when he did volunteer work at a senior community/hospice care facility.
He has helped with several charity organizations and organized a "Meals-on-Wheels"
support team in Colorado Springs to ensure that non-ambulatory, seniors and special
needs individuals had hot meals to eat every day and an opportunity to visit with
others. Tom feels the greatest reward of success is the ability to help others.
Mike specializes in CEO, Owner and Management coaching keying on End Goal Management
styles. Mike has extensive speaking experience from small groups to large events
as well as a wealth of technical backgrounds from Physics to Operations to put an
interesting twist on selling.
Mike comes to Sandler Sales Institute with first-hand knowledge of how Sandler works
inside companies and sales teams. With the implementation of the Sandler Sales System
in his Medical Device Company resulting in a dramatic increase in sales and leading
to the sale of the company. Mike has been working with the Sandler Sales System
for nearly 7 years and knows how to sell into the technical world as well as overly
Mike is active in various charitable organizations including The Eli Home of Anaheim
() and Agape Children’s Ministry